In 2013, a surprising 8-8 season was enough for some to think that Rex Ryan deserved coach of the year consideration. A revamped defense carried a 31st ranked offense to eight wins, in a season that began with Rex Ryan on a scaldingly-warm hot seat. Offensively though, a very young Jets team needs drastic improvements sooner rather than later, which means that the Jets are likely to be big players in the free-agent market. A New York Post report this morning, suggests that the Jets may be big players on one of the Eagles premier offensive free-agents.
Less than a week after ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Jets could look to sign Michael Vick, former Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg (who is entering his second season as Jets offensive coordinator), could be reunited with wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, per the report.
The Daily News has learned that the Jets covet free agent wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Emmanuel Sanders with the hope that one or both can help revamp the league’s 31st-ranked passing offense from last season.
It’s easy to see what would make Maclin an intriguing free-agent to the Jets, as he was perhaps the most productive wideout in Morhinweg’s seven year stint in Philadelphia, demonstrating both DeSean Jackson-like big play ability, and regularly catching 60-70 passes a year. Being only 25 now, 26 in May, also makes him a viable long-term option for a team like the Jets.
That said, that type of ability and youth, will make Jeremy Maclin attractive to every team—which perhaps is a sign that he might be done in Philadelphia.
While we are only a week removed from an interesting tweet in which Maclin seemed to be hinting that he was close to resigning in Philadelphia, and a Bleeding Green Nation Report that Maclin and the team were closing in on a two-year extension, this report makes me question the likelihood of Maclin remaining in Philadelphia.
From the beginning of the off-season, Maclin has seemed open to the idea of accepting a one-year deal as he continues to try to rebound from a torn ACL that cost him the entire 2013 season.
“For a team that wants to give me a one-year deal, that’s cool, I’ll just go out there and ball out, do the things I think I can do. Hopefully get that type of deal I’m looking for. If a team wants to give me a long-term deal, I’ll go out there and still do the same thing.”
I believe a return to Philadelphia would be the only way that Jeremy Maclin would even consider taking a one-year deal this off-season, with the Chiefs are expected to be in the Maclin sweepstakes, as our the Jets now. You would think a 26 year-old receiver whose price is significantly lower than a free-agent like Eric Decker, as he recovers from his torn ACL, will have more suitors as free-agency approaches. The more suitors, the better chance there is one team, or perhaps numerous teams, that are willing to give Maclin a two or three year deal. I can’t see the Eagles guaranteeing Maclin three years (not saying I wouldn’t), which could very well end up being the market for Maclin.
The good thing is that the Eagles have time. Free-Agency doesn’t begin until March 8th, and the draft has been pushed back to early May this year. That gives the Eagles time to maybe sell Maclin on a one-year “prove it” type of deal, that is very incentive laden. It’s hard to imagine a better place to “prove it”, than in a Chip Kelly offense with a stacked receiving core around you. They do also have the fallback option of Riley Cooper as well. And considering Cooper had over 40 catches and 800 receiving yards last year, he isn’t a bad fallback.
Then again, teams aren’t stupid—and neither is Maclin’s agent J.R. Rickert. It isn’t an accident that we are hearing about teams being interested in Maclin, when there is just over a month until free-agency begins. Even if Maclin is comfortable with returning to Philadelphia, why wouldn’t he wait on agreeing to an extension to hear what other teams have to offer? At least that is the thinking of teams, who usually put “feelers” like this out a week or so after the Superbowl. Knowing that some teams will likely be willing to offer his client multi-year deals, why wouldn’t Rickert have Maclin test the free-agent market?
With other options, I’m not sure that the Eagles are in a position where they are going to get in a bidding war for Maclin. The idea of the Eagles competing with an offer of three-years and 21 million from a team like the Chiefs (completely hypothetical), is comical. Unless Maclin flat-out decides to take a one-year deal to stay in Philly, then I think the market will price him out of Philadelphia.